One of the most important skills you can pick up if you’re serious about improving your health is cooking. I’m not gonna lie, I love food and I love eating. Historically, this was a huge problem when it came to eating right. Learning your way around the kitchen is the difference between boring healthy eating and healthy eating that’s superior to eating out.
In the age of Google and YouTube there is simply no excuse for not knowing a variety of kitchen basics like how to use a knife or how to cut up a chicken. A little bit of know-how can really go a long way in getting things done in the kitchen and preparing quality meals.
The first time I could make a real dinner without having to consult a recipe of any sort was very empowering. Making a turkey that had my family raving during the holidays was even better. The most important point here is that it’s simply not that hard. Like any good skill it takes some study and some practice.
While I generally enjoy eating mostly paleoish, there are times when I miss some of my old comfort foods. Sometimes I’ll just eat them but other times I look for substitutes so I can—please, pardon the expression—have my cake and eat it too.
A few weeks ago I had a mad craving for biscuits and gravy, which is decidedly not in my meal plan. Furthermore, if I’m going to just throw caution to the wind and eat something purely because it’s awesome, I’m not going to waste that opportunity on biscuits and gravy—not in a world where fried chicken and waffles exists and is available at the most excellent Rise & Shine or chocolate pancakes are waiting for me at Max Brenner.
No, no. Biscuits and gravy is definitely in the “find a substitute or skip it” category. So, I went searching and found this fantastic recipe for sausage gravy which also links to a recipe for shrimp and jalapeño sweet potato biscuits. These turned out to be super good. I’ve made them twice although I didn’t use shrimp on either occasion. We skipped it entirely the first time and I added some shredded pork roast from dinner the night before the second time. Even if you’re not into paleo, try this. It’s delicious.
The same day I made the second batch, Miss Loving and I took Sonja to a pumpkin patch. Autumn was definitely in the air! I wanted something that tasted like autumn and when I think autumn I think apples and cinnamon, and pumpkin pie. With that craving in mind, I decided to try my hand at modifying those “biscuits” into “muffins.” Here’s what I came up with:
Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato “Muffins”
- 200g of baked, mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium potato)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 - 3/4 apple, cored (skin optional)
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp of melted butter (coconut oil or lard will work too)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp baking power (not strictly paleo, I know)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup pecans
- Heat your oven to 415ºF.
- Poke holes in your sweet potato with a fork.
- Bake the sweet potato for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove the sweet potato and skin it. (I usually make a huge batch of mashed sweet potatoes to start the week, so this much is already good to go for me.)
- In a food processor, mix the egg, coconut flour, butter or oil, salt and spices.
- Add the sweet potato and continue processing until smooth.
- Depending on your taste, you can chop the apple and nuts and mix them in by hand or I just add them to the food processor for a smoother “muffin.”
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Either make little balls by hand or use an ice cream scoop with a release. I usually get 5-6 per serving. It’s better to err on the side of small since these won’t hold together like normal baked goods.
- Bake at 415ºF for about 35 minutes. You’ll want to see some browning on the outside.
- Remove and let rest.
In general, I make about three servings worth which yield 15-18 “muffins.” Also, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, just go get one. Seriously. This is especially true if you’re into baking.
As you can see, Sonja loves these. I’ll be making more this week. They satisfied my sweet tooth!